Ozone is a created by the sun’s heat and light acting upon gases and pollution in the atmosphere. Ozone levels change throughout the day and are generally highest in the afternoon hours.
Exposure to high summer ozone levels can cause:
The Utah Departments of Health and Environmental Quality have developed recommendations for outdoor physical activity in the summertime to avoid unhealthy exposure to summertime ozone.
During the winter, particulate matter (or PM) is the main pollutant of concern. PM is made up of soot, dust, and vehicle emissions. It is measured in two sizes, 2.5 and 10.
PM levels increase during Utah’s Inversions. Inversions form when the right weather conditions—cold temperatures and no breezes—cause the cold air and pollution to become trapped in the valley.
An inversion will stay until wind or a storm front comes through. The longer the inversion lasts, the more pollution there is in the air.